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The City & The City Audiobook
The City & The City
Written by: 
China Mieville
Narrated by: 
John Lee
The City & The City Audiobook

The City & The City

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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author China Mieville delivers his most accomplished novel yet, an existential thriller set in a city unlike any other, real or imagined.

When a murdered woman is found in the city of Beszel, somewhere at the edge of Europe, it looks to be a routine case for Inspector Tyador Borlof the Extreme Crime Squad. But as he investigates, the evidence points to conspiracies far stranger and more deadly than anything he could have imagined.

Borl must travel from the decaying Beszel to the only metropolis on Earth as strange as his own. This is a border crossing like no other, a journey as psychic as it is physical, a shift in perception, a seeing of the unseen. His destination is Beszel's equal, rival, and intimate neighbor, the rich and vibrant city of Ul Qoma.

With Ul Qoman detective Qussim Dhatt, and struggling with his own transition, Borl is enmeshed in a sordid underworld of rabid nationalists intent on destroying their neighboring city, and unificationists who dream of dissolving the two into one. As the detectives uncover the dead woman's secrets, they begin to suspect a truth that could cost them and those they care about more than their lives.

What stands against them are murderous powers in Beszel and in Ul Qoma: and, most terrifying of all, that which lies between these two cities.

Casting shades of Kafka and Philip K. Dick, Raymond Chandler and 1984, The City & the City is a murder mystery taken to dazzling metaphysical and artistic heights.

©2009 China Mieville; (P)2009 Random House

What the Critics Say

  • Hugo Award, Best Novel, 2010

"Daring and disturbing...Miéville illuminates fundamental and unsettling questions about culture, governance and the shadowy differences that keep us apart." (Walter Mosley, author of Devil in a Blue Dress)
"An excellent police procedural and a fascinating urban fantasy, this is essential reading for all mystery and fantasy fans." (Booklist)

"Mr. Miéville's novels - seven so far - have been showered with prizes; three have won the Arthur C. Clarke award, given annually to the best science fiction novel published in Britain…. [H]e stands out from the crowd for the quality, mischievousness and erudition of his writing…. Among the many topics that bubble beneath the wild imagination at play are millennial anxiety, religious cults, the relationship between the citizen and the state and the role of fate and free will." (The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (1158 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Kent Valandra 11-29-10 Member Since 2014

    Kent Sr.

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    "A Tough Leap"

    The author has a very creative idea about two cities belonging to rival nations. The people are trained not to see what goes on in the "other city" even when it is right in front of them. But after while this gets old and, finally, irritating. I stuck with the entire book and enjoyed it from time to time, but cannot recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven Nassau Bay, TX, United States 10-17-10
    Steven Nassau Bay, TX, United States 10-17-10 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "How you can be two places at once!"

    Our world has had divided cities, Berlin wih it's wall, Jerusalem pre 1967, etc. In this novel there is a divided city split on quantum physics (That is my guess as i's never really fully explaned) where people in one can see those in the other, but are trained not to. It's as if there are two city maps one on top of the there, at some places they are the same, at others totally distinct. Once you get this premise down it is just a detective story, but set in a very different type of location. The novelty and writing skill come in making this seem plausible and in making the story utilize the uniqueness of this enviornment. I thought it was very well done. I also liked Perdido Street Station by the same author very much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Lisle, IL, United States 10-08-10
    Robert Lisle, IL, United States 10-08-10 Member Since 2016
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    "Not really sci-fi"

    I know this shared a Hugo Award, but I am not sure why this is considered science fiction. It is a decent detective story, taking place in the present day with no real mention of technology other than some "artifacts" that are never talked about in detail.

    OK as a detective read, but as science fiction I was dissapointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elltten Oceanside, CA, United States 10-03-10
    Elltten Oceanside, CA, United States 10-03-10 Member Since 2013
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    "City and the City was outstanding"

    I really enjoyed this book. It was well written, the plot was original, the characters compelling and the end was satisfying. The author did such an excellent job building the unique landscape of the story. The story itself is a little complex and not for someone looking for a light plot. I also love the parallels that can be drawn with other border and immigration issues that we encounter around the world.
    This book would make a great movie!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Atlanta, GA, United States 09-24-10
    James Atlanta, GA, United States 09-24-10
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    "Better than a sleeping pill"

    Monotone and confusing with no sense of meaningful direction. Such a waste. Wish I could ask for a refund.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    l.e. santa monica, california, United States 09-12-10
    l.e. santa monica, california, United States 09-12-10 Member Since 2014
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    "a great ride"

    even if i had to unsee most of it, one of the best english language writers....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jovan Baltimore, MD, USA 11-07-09
    Jovan Baltimore, MD, USA 11-07-09 Member Since 2010
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    "Interesting concept but confusing"

    The book introduced an interesting concept of parallel cities; however, the concept was confusing and extremely difficult to visualize.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 11-06-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fabulous"

    I've never read anything like this before -- A hard-boiled detective novel wrapped up in a fantastial, weird, off-kilter world. What a story and what a ride.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rankin Portland, OR, USA 08-16-09
    Rankin Portland, OR, USA 08-16-09 Member Since 2009
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    "Interesting, weird police procedural"

    Except for a strange and imperfectly-implemented sci-fi twist, it's a good noir cop story, with good characters and good narration. The sci-fi part, or maybe it's fantasy, is so subtle at first that it's hard to follow even though, or maybe because, all the characters understand perfectly. The ultimate explanation for the sci-fi part isn't especially believable, and it's hard to understand. The story is complex and hard to follow in audio; had I known, I probably would have read this rather than listening to it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles 07-18-09
    Charles 07-18-09 Member Since 2006
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    "Intriguing idea"

    The idea of one city both next to and partially superimposed on the next city is intriguing. The mystic nature of the third city Orciny adds more interest. Very good story.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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